The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) calls a California State Assembly bill that would require tire dealers to disclose the date of a tire's manufacture "a lawsuit magnet."
The bill, A.B. 496, was passed by the assembly earlier today, May 28, by a 41-28 vote.
The bill requires notification of a tire's date of manufacture for all passenger and light truck tires sold by tire dealers or service stations or auto repair shops. Car dealers and private sales of tires or vehicles are exempt.
The bill does not set any limits on tires based on a certain chronological age, reports the RMA.
"Supporters of the measure claim that tires reaching a certain age are a potential safety hazard an say the notification is necessary to prevent older tires from being placed into service," say RMA officials, who add that the bill is "inconsistent in its application.
"Any consumer who buys tires or a vehicle in a private transaction or who buys a new or used vehicle from a dealer or who buys replacement tires from an auto dealer would not receive notification under this proposal. These exemptions make the measure contradictory on its face and are implicit acknowledgement that chronological tire age alone is not a hazard."
RMA officials also believe the notification provisions "are likely to result in second-guessing by trial lawyers. Providing a simple, understandable notification to consumers about a tire's date of manufacture is reasonable."
However, the bill "provides several options that would likely lead to trial lawyers' accusations that a dealer didn't provide the most appropriate notification. This would force nearly all notifications to be given prior to the point of sale, which will result in needless service delays."